I've visited more than 50 vegetarian/vegan cafes/restaurants in England over the past decade and reviewed 33 since I started this blog. Incase anyone's interested, my favourites are:
Overall Top 5
1st: Veggie World (Bletchley)
Simply the best vegan chinese food I've tried, either in the UK or US. Decor could use a lot of work, but the fantastic food and friendly service totally make up for it. Massive choice, almost all vegan. Miles ahead of Loving Hut; light years ahead of the (now gross) London buffets.
2nd: The Warehouse Cafe (Birmingham)
Dependable, well priced, seasonal menu with both cafe options (burgers, wedges etc) and 'sit down meal' courses. Always plenty of vegan choice. Desserts (which were always its weak point) have started to improve in the past couple of months. I've eaten there countless times over the years and a recent evening meal was very good indeed.
3rd: Terre-a-Terre (Brighton)
Terre-a-terre is something special, which is why it gets a mention in the top 5. It's definitely a vegetarian restaurant however: vegan choice fluctuates over time - sometimes great, other times a bit disappointing. Catch it at the right moment and you may get the best meal of your life.
4th: Terrace Arts Cafe (Seaton)
This place is a hidden gem. Choice is great and the food well above average for the price. Waiting times were always an issue, but seemed a lot better on my last visit. There's not a lot of choice in that part of the country, but it is worth an hour's drive to try if you're ever in Dorset/Devon.
5th: The Lakeland Pedlar (Keswick)
Cheap, dependable, generously portioned, warm and filling cafe style food (generally a good thing when you've been walking in the hills!). I've never been disappointed by a meal from here - both the best garlic bread and best cake.
A few runners up, most noted for:
Cheap lunch in London: Beatroot (London) - lots of flavours all mashed together in a cardboard box!
Cheesecake: Alley Cafe (Nottingham) - Cheesecake perfection
Dessert: Aloka (Brighton) - Following a truly dreadful main, the best dessert ever!
Dosa: Shivali (Leicester) - Avoid the Sunday buffet, order from the standard menu.
Raw Food: Saf (Shoreditch) - Expensive but some really good food, especially their 'cheeses'
Samosa: Jyoti's (Birmingham) - Their currys suck, but starters rock.
And The Worst.....
Food: The Gardener's Arms
Customer Service: Iydea
Everything: Zilli Green
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